It’s been a debate in the United States for over 20 years now. Do video games cause mass shootings? Or even on a smaller scale, do video games cause aggressive behavior?
The first part of this question is easy to answer. No, video games do not cause mass shootings. The second part is more difficult. So we’ll just focus on the first part.
This question was debated on Wednesday by a Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention. Along with video games, they were also discussing the links between social media and the dark web when it comes to criminal activity and violence. Courtesy of the El Paso Times.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said technology — social media platforms, the dark web and video gaming platforms — can facilitate criminal activity and act as a recruiting mechanism.
“Gaming platforms, multiplayer gaming … there’s chat rooms in those, you can even post video, you can talk, so it’s another means to communicate with like-minded individuals,” McCraw said.
Well, there’s one major problem with this train of thought. Violent video games, gaming platforms, multiplayer gaming, chat rooms, whatever you want to single in on, isn’t exclusive to the United States.
By claiming that violent video games lead to mass shootings, you are not only taking away all other factors that do lead to these horrific acts, but are also making a claim that an exclusively United States problem is being caused by something that ISN’T exclusive to the United States.
This is a debate that we need to continue to have, but we need to stop wasting our time with questions that already have answers, and realize this issue is far more complex than one cause.